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The Drawbacks To The Use Of Nuclear Power Mean That It Is Not A Long Lasting Solution To The Problem Of Meeting Ever-increasing Energy Needs - With A Free Essay Review



Nuclear energy has been touted for its enormous potential to produce energy. It has been thought to be virtually an inexhaustible source of energy to meet the problem of ever-increasing energy needs. However, a closer examination of the issue reveals that nuclear energy proves more problematic and dangerous than other forms of energy sources. So it is not a viable alternative to the problem addressed.

First and foremost, nuclear power production presents a number of radioactive wastage problems. The bi-products of the fission reaction last for thousands of years before they can get back to safer levels. It is highly reactive and a major cause of concern. The spills and leaks from a number of nuclear plants have been hazardous and baneful. The clean up of the radioactive waste has been very costly. Despite the careful and meticulous attention and the best of circumstances have proved a fiasco. This is true, as cases from the Chernobyl power plants, three miles island, and Fukushima have warned us of the nuclear meltdown resulting in insidious consequences and catastrophes to the environment and mankind. In Chernobyl the emissions of radioactive gases disrupted the flora and fauna. It turned the forest trees red, the live stock and animals were genetically damaged. The cost of cleaning the waste crippled the economy and led to grave suffering.

Another, major problem is the cost of investing in nuclear energy. The huge amount of money invested in establishing plants will enervate the economy of the country. There are other alternatives like solar energy, hydro energy that are free and renewable. Investing in establishing plants to harvest energy in such sources will be beneficial as they are safer. Innovations in Solar energy plants have proved a boon. There are houses that run on solar energy. Energy is harvested to produce electricity. Solar cells, solar space station have brought innovation in technology. Though the cost of investing in solar cells is high, more research in this area will produce new methods and devices to solve the problem of energy needs. Hydro energy has promoted the progress in agricultural technology. Thus investing huge sum of money in solar, hydro and other alternatives sources is advantageous than investing on nuclear power plants.

Nuclear fuels are, physically, even rarer than fossil fuels. Fossil fuels at least are made on Earth, albeit over millions of years. Heavy elements like Uranium are only made as stars die, in supernovas. Our solar system actually formed from the remains of another star, at which point heavier elements were made. Essentially, once they're gone, they are well and truly gone. While sunlight and water are free and available. They are renewable resources and will not deplete from the earth. Even though we produce nuclear energy and it becomes practical to use, at some time, uranium being a rare metal would also deplete and thus this will not be able to solve long term energy needs. Uranium is a rare metal and may not be available every where as compared to sunlight and water. So it is practical to invest in alternative resources.

To sum, the risks and dangers involved in investing in nuclear energy are more disastrous than the advantages in investing them. The availability, cost and other reasons undermine the usage of nuclear energy. So government should think and invest money, time and energy on other alternatives to solve the problem of ever growing energy needs.

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ESSAY REVIEW

When I was twelve I debated this issue in my English class. The topic was "Nuclear Power is a Boon for the Future." I argued in favor of the proposition and changed the minds of half the class by agreeing with my opponent about the horrors of nuclear power plants, and then arguing that all of the problems will go away once we have fusion reactors. I bring this up because I'm in that mood where I just type whatever thoughts happen to be in my head, which is bad news for this review. But perhaps there’s a point there that is worth stressing. The prompt asks whether nuclear power is a long lasting solution to the problem of increasing energy needs, but there's no reason to base an answer to that question on the assumption that nuclear power will represent the same risk in the future as it does today. Nuclear power might be a long lasting solution, in other words, it the drawbacks can be overcome.

I'm not suggesting here that you should have considered the possibility of nuclear fusion power (which seems to be one of those technologies, like AI and the cancer cure, that is always twenty or thirty years away); I do think, however, it would be a good idea to consider the general case that current risks may be better managed in the future. (A lot of noise is being made these days about the possibility of using Thorium as a nuclear fuel, which, if we could manage it, would eliminate most of your concerns about safety, waste, and the limited quantities of uranium, if not your concern about cost.) Of course, it's hard to consider the general case without knowing a bit about specific cases, as you obviously do. Moreover, it would be difficult to write a complete response to this essay prompt without having a good deal of knowledge about the state of energy production generally and nuclear power in particular, which makes this prompt, in my view, a very bad prompt for a standard test, so I assume it is unofficial and suggest you shouldn't be wasting your time on it.

That said, let me look at just one of your arguments. You argue that despite precautions, serious accidents have occurred (you have a more or less unintelligible sentence beginning "despite the careful ...," which I suspect was an accidentally botched attempt to say something to the effect that "no amount of precautions has proved to eliminate the risk"). That is a fairly compelling argument, and Chernobyl and Fukushima are good examples of things having gone seriously awry. But I think the way to develop the argument is not to go on about the details of the Chernobyl disaster, but to consider more aspects of the argument itself. The argument is an important one, and therefore should be elaborated and defended against possible objections, for instance. This is the only point I want to stress in this review because your essay is generally reasonably well argued. So compare the following:

1. Nuclear power represents a serious risk to people and the environment, and despite throwing the best brains and billions of dollars at the problem, the risk remains, as evidenced by events in Japan when the integrity of a nuclear plant was threatened by a tsunami.

2. Nuclear power represents a serious risk to people and the environment, and despite throwing the best brains and billions of dollars at the problem, the risk remains, as evidenced by events in Japan when the integrity of a nuclear plant was threatened by a tsunami.. It might be argued that we could address the problem by building safer reactors in more remote locations, but in practice that never happens because of the high costs involved. It might also be argued that nuclear power is historically safer than coal mining and drilling for oil in terms of the number of lives lost, but nuclear power plant accidents have the potential to be catastrophic (there's no reason to assume we've seen the worst of it) and, aside from that fact, there's also no reason why we can't eventually move away from both nuclear power and fossil fuels.

The second argument is better here because it is more complex and less one-sided in that it considers and then dismisses possible objections. If you develop a single argument like that, then you don't have as much time to write about other arguments, but a couple of complex arguments is better than many simple arguments. Note also that one doesn't need to go into specific details here about the nature of the problems caused by nuclear accidents, as should be expected. Generally, devote more time to developing the complexity of the argument than to justifying the specific claims with examples (although some justification by way of example is always helpful).

Again, unless you are actually writing an essay for a course in energy production, you can expect to score points for the structure of the argument, not for the knowledge that informs the argument, and I would be surprised if you found yourself facing a prompt like this that seems so dependent on knowledge. But even if you do, remember that you are trying to show off your analytical ability here, not your knowledge.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Nam
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